Author: Vera Button
Written in response to ‘Some Trees and Snow’ Ernest Zobole, (1978)
The picture of the train with mountains rising up from it, reminded me of when we traveled with a circus in South Africa and all the artistes lived on the train. Our wagon was always at the back of the train and it was very old, wooden and had a balcony at the rear, a bit like the old westerns era type. Our family had one half of one wagon which consisted of three whole compartments and a half, plus the ‘luggage’ racks area which became part of the kitchen. Many of the places we visited were named after the beautiful areas of Scotland, England and Wales and they really did look like them. They were probably named by people from those areas in the first place.
Once, when we were going through the Drakensburg Mountains, we had fabulous vistas and scenery to take your breath away. Sometimes we had two engines on the front and the whole train would be linked, and as it was almost a mile long we’d be able to see the rest of it when on the bends and climbing. Once, it became too much for the engines, so they stopped, and uncoupled our wagons, leaving us parked on the side of the mountain until an engine could be sent back to ‘rescue’ us! Zobole’s picture reminded me of this episode.
We had many exciting adventures including a train crash in the Kruger National Park and amazingly, this painting revived many of them.